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Cornmeal Crusted Chicken

Cornmeal Crusted Chicken

Servings: 2 Preparation time: 30 mins Cooking time: 30 mins Ingredients Chicken breasts: 2 Chorizo sausage: 125g of small cubes Brussel sprouts: 5oz Celery: 1 stalk, cut into small pieces Chickpeas: 1 can (540ml) Yellow onion: Half, minced into small cubes Cherry tomatoes: 6 oz, […]

Knitting Socks Top Down

Knitting Socks Top Down

  Size: 8 men Material: Fingering, Super Fine/ Lion Brand, 2.75mm dpn Ribbing CO: 56 Divide DPNS: 28, 14, 14 st each R1-15: K1P1 ribbing Leg K40 Heel Flap On the 28sts DPN, work back and forth Row 1 (RS): Sl1, K to end. Row […]

Knit: Baby Toques

Knit: Baby Toques

Baby toques are fast and fun projects when you want to give them as gifts, use up scrap yarns, or make them for charity. I made this post so I can easily refer to the instructions. 

I use White Flower Needle’s pattern below.

Age (in Months) Cast On Actual Head Circumference Hat Circumference Hat Height
0 – 3 60 13” ~ 14” 11.5” 5”
3 – 6 80 14” ~ 17” 14.5” 5.5”
6 – 12 96 16” ~ 19” 17” 6.5”

Gauge: 22 sts x 30 rows = 4” x 4” in stocking sts; 4mm

Rounds 1-10: (K1, P1) around.

Round 11: K around.

Repeat Round 11 to reach Round (26, 34, 42) OR the hat measures approx. (3.25”, 3.75”, 5.25”) from the cast on edge.

Start to shape top.

Round 1: (K6, K2tog) around. (56, 70, 84) sts

Round 2: K around.

Round 3: (K5, K2tog) around. (48, 60, 72) sts

Round 4: K around.

Round 5: (K4, K2tog) around. (40, 50, 60) sts

Round 6: K around.

Round 7: (K3, K2tog) around. (32, 40, 48) sts

Round 8: K around.

Round 9: (K2, K2tog) around. (24, 30, 36) sts

Round 10: K around.

Round 11: (K1, K2tog) around. (16, 20, 24) sts

Round 12: K around.

Round 13: (K2tog) around. (8, 10, 12) sts

Cut the yarn about 10 inches ans with a yarn needle, pull the yarn through all the remaining loops, draw up firmly and weave in the wrong side of work. 

I also like to use Margaret Olander’s pattern when I am less specific with sizing and have scrap yarn. Her pattern uses scrap worsted yarn for 4mm needles. I recommend doing the slow decrease from the pattern below as this decrease leaves gaps on the top once finished and extra work is required to patch that up. 


Age (in Months) Cast On Hat Height
Preemie 48 4.5”
Newborn 56 5”
6 64 6”
12 72 6.5”
Toddler 80 7”
Child/Adult S 92 7.5”-8”
Adult M/L 100 8.5”-9”

Rounds 1-10: (K1, P1) around.

2-3 Rounds: K around.

Knit until specified hat height: plain, alternating colors or with Fair Isle designs

Knit until approximately .5”-1” below desired hat height.

Begin the quickie decreases:

Decrease Row 1: *K1, K2tog* repeat all around
Decrease Row 2: *K2tog* repeat all around
Decrease Row 3: *K2tog* repeat all around

Thread tapestry needle, catch remaining stitches and pull tightly. Secure and weave in all ends 


For DK yarn, I like to use Mama’s Stitchery Project’s Basic Baby Hat pattern.

Age (in Months) Circumferencen Cast On Hat Height
Preemie 11″ 60 5.5”
Newborn 13″ 72 6”
12 15.25″ 84 6.5”
Teen 19.5″ 108 7.5”-8”

22 stitches and 30 rows = 4 inches in stockinette

0.5 to 1 oz (40 to 80 yards) of DK weight baby yarn
Size 6 (4 mm) 
Yarn needle

k = knit
p = purl
k2tog = knit two together
ssk = slip one knitwise, slip one knitwise, insert left needle into front of both slipped stitches and knit.

Cast on sts according to the desired size. Join to knit in the round. Divide stitches between double pointed needles or needles for a magic loop. Divide with multiples of 12 on each needle.

Ribbing (6 rounds for preemie size, 8 rounds for other sizes): k2, p2 repeated across round

Knit until the hat measures the desired height for size including the ribbing.

Repeat across the round
Rnd 1: k4, k2tog, ssk, k4 – 50 (60, 70, 80, 90) stitches
Rnd 2: k
Rnd 3: k3, k2tog, ssk, k3 – 40 (48, 56, 64, 72) stitches
Rnd 4: k
Rnd 5: k2, k2tog, ssk, k2 – 30 (36, 42, 48, 54) stitches
Rnd 6: k
Rnd 7: k1, k2tog, ssk, k1 – 20 (24, 28, 32, 36) stitches
Rnd 8: k
Rnd 9: k2tog, ssk – 10 (12, 14, 16, 18) stitches
Cut the yarn with several inches to work with. With a yarn needle, pull the yarn through all the remaining loops, secure and weave in end.

Knitting the bear toque

  • 8 rows of k1p1
  • k 3 rows, p 3 rows until desired length
  • finish as usual
  • ear: CO 25 sts. k1p1/p1k1 ribbing for 5 rows. Thread ends like finishing toque and secure tightly. use loose ends at CO and ending to sew onto toque. Make 2 ears.

This pattern contains 3 textured toques. The King Charles Brocade pattern took me a very long time to knit because it required so much concentration!

Macro Photography

Macro Photography

“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” ~ Alfred Stieglitz ” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]



March 3, 19 Cooking: Vegetarian > Zucchini, carrot, and potato pancake Cooking: Soup > Miso soup Cooking: Fish > Pan-seared lime salmon yakisoba March 2, 19 Cooking: Chicken > Spanish paella with chicken, shrimp, and chorizo March 1, 19 Cooking: Chicken > Lemongrass chicken thigh and stir-fried […]

Bird Photography

Bird Photography

“In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.” 

~ Robert Lynd

Food Aversion and Morning Sickness, etc

Food Aversion and Morning Sickness, etc

Growing up, my mother would always tell me stories here and there about her experience of pregnancy. She always portrayed herself as silently strong and noble all the way through labour. So I made it my goal to be just as “cool”.  She briefly talked […]

Volunteer Projects

Volunteer Projects

” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″] “Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.” ~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.   April 7, 2014 Phillip Island Nature Parks Penguin Jumper: 1 May 2014 Caring Hearts Toques: 9 Baby cardigans: 4 Total: 13 June […]

Lesson 1: The Very Basic

Lesson 1: The Very Basic

The correct posture

  • Sit straight and tall. It is funny I say this because when no one is looking or checking, I do cheat and slouch and slant in every possible directions. Don’t be like Cat. 😉
  • Shoulders should be relaxed. Always stop and ask yourself if your shoulders are tense. They usually are 😛
  • You eyes are usually about 25-30 cm away from your book. Again, this will vary depending on your table and chair, etc. 
  • Use the left hand to secure your book and write with your right hand. Vice versa if you are a left-handed writer
  • Your legs should be relaxed and your feet to the ground. Again, this will vary with your table and chair and your height etc. The idea is to be grounded and relaxed
  • These rules are too rigid! I don’t like them either but I do make an effort to try. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Everything will slowly come together

How to place your book

  • Tilt your book a little to the left (about 15 degrees give or take)  if you are a right handed writer and vice versa

How to hold your pen

  • Use your thumb, index and middle finger to secure. Your 3rd finger supports the base of the pen, 2nd finger over the top of the pen, and thumb to the side. You know, how you were taught to hold a pen at school. I deferred from this  and hold it like I was going to jab stuff. Do not copy me as I had no good results from it. Yes, I gave in and did it the right way 😛
  • See this site for reference. Why recreate what someone else also did such a good job at? 🙂 Here’s another.
  • If you hear scratchy sounds, you’re ripping through the paper, or the ink does not seem to come out when you use it but it does when someone else does it (lol) then you are holding it wrong. Rotate the pen, adjust how you hold it. When I held the pen as a stabbing tool, I was constantly, destroying the nib, paper and my sanity.
  • If you just got your very first pen be patient. It takes time to get it started. The ink needs to flow, the nib needs to open up, keep “starting” it like you would for a lousy car. The ink WILL come out

Lets get started!

  • My lessons will be based on several books or resources. This one is from the Nguyen Duong Anh, Luyen Chu Dep, Kieu Viet Dung (vertical style writing) 
  • Guess what? An awesome youtuber made a video of this lesson. Follow along! Honestly, you don’t really need to know what he is saying. Just watch LOL
  • The focus of the lesson is on how to write light and dark pressures, thick and thin strokes
  • I like how he turned his book sideways. At first I giggled at how strange he was then I realized what a genius he really was. When you turn your book sideways and practice, you prevent yourself from bumping into the center of the book. It is a very liberating way to practice your writing! Genius, I tell you
  • I got my grided book from master Anh Duong. Again, facebook her for products. You can also get Clairefontaine notebooks from Amazon or other online stores. I got most of mine from my cousin who bought it from Vietnam and from master Anh Duong. She gifted them to me when I bought a lot of her products. 
    • Surprise! You can get all the calligraphy papers you want as long as you have paper and a printer. This site is a life saver!


Write from 1-3 pages a day. This is one of the most important lesson. If you mess this up you will struggle later on! Don’t practice too hard or your hand will hurt. Honestly, I just write 1 page a day.

  1. Notice the first line I just did an upward thin stroke followed by a thicker, dominant stroke. If you watch his video, you will see that he rotated his nib slightly so that the nib points to the left (or right if you are left handed) to do the upward stroke. When he pulled it down he aligned the nib towards the north direction. This is the “sweet spot” allowing the nib to flex and release more ink. These thin and thick strokes are based on your pen’s potential. So remember to buy the right pen or you can do this for years and never get that look! 
  2. I made each exercise different so that I don’t feel tortured or bored while doing it. Write slowly, with intention, and care. The 2nd exercise looks like the letter N. It is basically an up, down, up and down motion. Exercise 1 but double it. Your breathing is also important. I like to take in a breath then exhale as I write. This creates a more steady stroke
  3. This is the last exercise of the set. You have 4 up strokes and 4 down strokes. It looks like the letter m with an additional up and down stroke
  4. Do not underestimate this set of exercises because most letters are made of these fundamental strokes
Learn Calligraphy/Penmanship

Learn Calligraphy/Penmanship

What you need to know Calligraphy/good penmanship will take time. You need to practice it like you would with any courses or instruments.  You need to get the right writing instrument. If you are first getting started, a regular pencil will do because you can […]